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Greenpeace is out with its eighth annual report ranking 26 major retailers for seafood sourcing and sustainability, and it concludes that Whole Foods and Safeway are at the top of the list, followed by Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, and Hy-Vee. It is the first time Hy-Vee that has been evaluated by Greenpeace, and it immediately was lauded for its seafood policies.

According to the report, "four supermarkets - Roundy's, Bi-Lo, Save Mart and Publix - failed altogether. Kroger, the fifth biggest food retailer in the world, is exposed for selling the most Red List species of any U.S. grocery chain, for the third consecutive year." (Red list fish are those that Greenpeace has identified as being either overfished, caught using destructive methods,, or in short supply, and potentially endangered.)

One interesting point raised by Greenpeace: that once Safeway's acquisition by Albertsons has been completed, its "significant progress" in this area "could be severely undermined if its merger with Albertson’s means taking on Albertson’s inferior seafood policies and practices." Albertsons is ranked at #20, just above Kroger, which is #21.

Beyond the top five, the major chains are, in order, Harris Teeter (which was ranked before its acquisition by Kroger), Aldi, Target, Ahold, Delhaize, Meijer, Walmart, HEB, price Chopper, Costco, Giant Eagle, A&P, Supervalu, Wakefern, Albertsons, Kroger, WinCo, Publix, Save Mart, Bi-Lo and Roundy's.

"Despite progress made by the retail sector overall, overfishing, destructive fishing, and illegal fishing are still major problems for ocean conservation and the economies of developing countries," Greenpeace says in the report. "Populations of the ocean’s top predators like sharks, tuna, and swordfish have dropped by as much as 90% over the past half-century.  Bycatch - where species like sharks and turtles are caught unintentionally in the process of fishing, then thrown back into the sea dead or dying - threatens marine ecosystems as well as global food security."
KC's View:
This stuff matters to a lot of us. And I think that in addition to watching what happens to Safeway's rankings when it is acquired by Albertsons, it will be important to see what happens to Harris Teeter's rankings next year.